Us poorly situated Americans oft not get to enjoy such events as the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève 2009. High-brow and ritzy, it is one of the most notable watch awards around. Here you have a viewing room (that is quite well executed), showing the guests views of the watches up for consideration. I like that no watch is given any higher level of importance in comparison to any other watch, and that they are each on spinning stand, so that you can see the entire watch.
The award show came and went, and the winners were announced (see link below for more on that as well the and video below). In the video above you can hear a bit about the criteria for choosing nominees. They take this stuff quite seriously, as they should. The list of winners is quite interesting. The big boys of watch making get most of the attention. This also includes the so called independent watch makers that are well-funded in comparison to less well-funded indy watch makers. The politics behind the award are almost the same as they are for the Oscars (for films). Namely that the big guys get all the attention. One problem that many people have with the awards is that the winner watches are all extremely expensive. Meaning that only a small portion of watch lovers can even afford the timepieces.
The timepiece that won top honors "The Golden Hand Award" was actually the cheapest (actually closely tied to the best women's watch) - but still costs over $50,000 for the least expensive version. That would be the A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk watch. Aside from the Piaget Limelight Twice watch (for women), the rest of the watches are all over $100,000 or WAY over $100,000. Think Richard Mille RM 025 Diver at about $500,000 and the $1,000,000 Hublot Million $ Black Caviar Bang watch.
When John and I recently discussed these awards on HourTime (Episode 3), we mentioned that there should be some awards for affordable watches. They can still be luxury ones on the mix. How about up to $10,000? You could have 3-4 categories (classy, sport, womens, complicated, etc...) and then do each of them for various price points. Up to $500, up to $2,000, up to $5000, up to $10,000. That would work out well right? Not that I have a problem with events like the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve, but I think there is just too much nice stuff that they are leaving out.